When eating at a restaurant, what are many of the things considered before making an order or purchasing a meal? Is taste, nutrition, and cost all factors for consideration when purchasing a meal? After purchasing an order, are the selected items healthy and nutritious? Explain to students that even when they are not preparing food, it is important to think about the foods they are eating. Begin by asking students a series of questions about which meal is healthiest.

Which is a healthier meal, Wendy’s Grilled Chicken Sandwich or McDonald’s Garden Salad?

Wendy's Grilled Chicken Sandwich actually has less fat than McDonald's Garden Salad with ranch dressing. The garden salad has 21 grams of fat (all from the ranch dressing). The grilled chicken sandwich has only 8 grams of fat.

Item

Calories

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Carbohydrates

Protein

Wendy's

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

310

8

1.5

35

27

McDonald’s

Garden Salad with Ranch Dressing

265

21

3

17

3


Which is a healthier meal, Boston Market’s quarter chicken without skin or Boston Market’s half chicken with skin?

The quarter chicken has 33 fewer fat grams compared to the half chicken with skin. The quarter chicken has no skin, and the skin has a lot of fat in it.

Item

Calories

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Carbohydrates

Protein

Quarter Chicken without Skin

160

4

1

0

31

Half Chicken with Skin

630

37

10

2

74

Which is a healthier meal, McDonald’s Fish Fillet Deluxe or McDonald’s Grilled Chicken Deluxe?

McDonald's Grilled Chicken Deluxe has only 20 grams of fat, and McDonald's Fish Fillet has 28 grams of fat. Although fish is sometimes healthier than chicken, McDonald's Fish Fillet is deep fried in oil. The chicken is grilled.

Item

Calories

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Carbohydrates

Protein

Grilled Chicken Deluxe

440

20

3

38

27

Fish Fillet Deluxe

560

28

6

54

23


Explain to students that even when they are eating out at restaurants (or the school cafeteria) which may or may not provide healthy food selections, they can make healthy food choices. Tell students that it is okay to eat fast food, but emphasize that it is important to eat fast food in moderation. Explain to students that it is possible to eat a healthy meal in a restaurant as long as you try to incorporate fruits and vegetables into the purchase. To illustrate this concept, display the following information:

Recommended daily allowance (RDA) for one full day:

Calories

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Carbohydrates

2000

65

20

300

McDonalds

A hamburger, grilled chicken salad deluxe with fat-free herb vinaigrette dressing, and a small Sprite.

Calories

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Carbohydrates

Protein

530

22

7.5

61

18

Burger King

A hamburger, broiled chicken salad with reduced calorie light Italian dressing, and a medium Coke.

Calories

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Carbohydrates

Protein

815

23.5

10

110

40

Wendy's

A grilled chicken sandwich, side salad with fat-free French dressing, and an iced tea.

Calories

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Carbohydrates

Protein

575

11

1.5

48

31

Taco Bell

A regular taco, cinnamon twists, and a large Pepsi.

Calories

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Carbohydrates

Protein

520

16

4

82

9

Boston Market

A quarter white meat chicken without skin, new potatoes, whole kernel corn, and a Diet Coke.

Calories

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Carbohydrates

Protein

471

10

1.5

55

39


Subway

A six-inch turkey breast sub with lettuce, onions, tomatoes, pickles, and peppers and a medium Sprite.

Calories

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Carbohydrates

Protein

480

6

1

99

17

Arby's

A roast turkey deluxe, regular fries, and a Dr. Pepper.

Calories

Total Fat

Saturated Fat

Carbohydrates

Protein

666

20

5

103

22

KFC

An Original breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, garden salad with Italian dressing, and a Coke.

Calories

Total Fat

Carbohydrates

571

16

86

To further illustrate this concept, have students complete the making healthy choices activity.

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